Maggie: Our Adoption Story

We quite suddenly adopted a dog two days ago. My husband was wary of me visiting the dog adoption clinics at a local pet store, and I assured him I wasn’t ready for a dog. I said we’d probably wait until next year when our younger child turns five.


Then we met Maggie. When I first saw her, I thought, “I should really ignore that dog. She’s probably not right for us.” Then a volunteer offered to let my kids pet her. So I pet her. The volunteer started spewing off Maggie’s qualities: she’s 4-5 years old, she’s a Bishon Frise Maltese mix, she doesn’t shed, she’s hypoallergenic (so even people who are usually allergic to dogs could be okay around her), and she’s crate-trained.

Her hair is incredibly soft and thankfully short. When she was rescued, she was covered in foxtails, even having some in her mouth, and seemed like she hadn’t been fed properly for awhile. Doggie Protective Services cleaned her up, shaved her hair, vaccinated her, spayed her, and put her in loving foster homes until she could be adopted.

We were not planning to adopt a dog, not yet. Many people say though, “you don’t adopt a dog, they adopt you.” That’s really true in our case.

I’m beginning to think Maggie had some help from other four-legged friends. My sister-in-law has a small dog, a Silky terrier, and I got to walk him quite a few times in May. Then another couple we know got my daughter not to be scared of their Shih tzu Vinnie. My son Zach loves Vinnie so much, he asks to have play dates with him.

I follow quite a few animal lovers on Twitter. Many of them are also big advocates of pet rescue, Anne Wheaton and Ricky Gervais in particular. Anne Wheaton does a charity calendar each year, with proceeds going to the Pasadena Humane Society.

My kids are four and seven years old. I’d like to think that I’m not just trying to fill some void left behind of not having a baby or really little kid anymore. I suppose it doesn’t really matter what my intentions were, just that I stay committed to taking care of Maggie for the rest of her life.

I’ll admit, I’ve worried a tiny bit that I’m a flake, I’ll get buyer’s remorse and decide I can’t take care of her. The funny thing about suffering from anxiety is it makes you anxious about having anxiety.

Thankfully, Maggie has been so easy to take care of, and we’re all adapting so quickly, I haven’t had any concerns about not being able to take care of her. I’m a little nervous about when it starts raining a whole bunch, but since we live in California and we’re having a drought, it seems like I can punt on this for quite awhile.

I’ve never owned a dog before, and my husband hasn’t owned one for about 30 years. I feel somewhat irresponsible adopting a dog without prior or recent experience, but my friends and neighbors who own dogs, DPS Rescue, and the salespeople at the pet store have been really helpful.

Maggie’s going to take awhile to get adjusted to her forever home, but one day I hope to train her as a therapy dog. It’s supposed to be good for her and for the people she visits. I already feel more stable and relaxed having her, and it’s only been two days.

Ever rescued a pet? Share your story in the comments below.

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4 thoughts on “Maggie: Our Adoption Story

  1. Anya August 19, 2014 at 10:43 pm Reply

    First if all – congratulations on finding Maggie and giving in to your instincts. That’s right, I do believe that our desire to share life with a dog is as primal to us as humans as a desire to love. I have 4 dogs. 2 rescued from various places and 2 adopted through DPS. I also volunteer with DPS when our schedules allow. I have kids and they are growing up with having to share our love and our responsibility for our pets. They grow up better people because of that. They had to live through sickness and loss of pets too ( we had dogs before). It made their hearts bigger and their ability to feel compassion for other living things so much greater. I believe that giving your kids a pet is one of the best things the parent can do. Provided you keep them involved and have them share in daily tasks of caring for them. Your thoughts and doubts show that you are actually ready for being a dog owner – they are thoughts and doubts of a responsible person. You will be great, and Maggie is lucky to have you. If you ever need help with something to do with her – don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Good luck and enjoy this new chapter in your life!

  2. Liz Milner August 19, 2014 at 11:05 pm Reply

    Oh, we adopted a bichon frise maltipoo little guy from DPS last November and Finnley (aka Hartman) has been such a therapeutic presence in our house and a complete joy. He was well prepared to come into a home too…. your little lady sounds a lot like him! and now having seen your blog I’d love to read it more as it sounds like a wonderful resource. take care

  3. Jenny August 20, 2014 at 7:46 am Reply

    Your journey with Maggie sounds very similar to mine with our DPS rescue Colby (formerly Garth). I too went to the adoptions only intending to look, and we came home with the sweetest little boy who has forever changed our lives. The DPS volunteer had fostered Colby, so she knew him better than anyone, and told my husband and I that he is the perfect dog, and that he is! He’s a malti-poo and looks very much like your Maggie! He has been with us for 2 1/2 years. I am forever grateful to DPS for all their hard work and for bringing us together with our perfect little doggie!!

  4. […] life was pretty busy, taking care of my husband, our two kids, and our cat Smokey. Last August we adopted Maggie, my first dog ever, and it was an adjustment, but she’s pretty much a lapdog, and our […]

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